News Article

Three Enlightening Things to Note About Energy

January 5, 2023

As we collectively work towards reaching sustainability goals, energy recovery is key to reaching net zero.

Energy Day has passed, but there is still much about energy that many do not know. For one, what does energy mean as it pertains to climate? Scientists describe energy as the ability to do work. While this generic definition is fairly simple, there are quite a few lesser known facts about the subject matter that industry leaders and consumers alike should be aware of. Here are three unique insights about energy. 

#1 Renewable Energy Grew by Over 25% in the First Half of 2022

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in the six-month period from January 1 to June 30, electrical generation by wind increased by 24.7% and provided 11.6% of total electrical generation. The report also revealed that solar sources grew by 27.7%, providing 4.9% of US electrical output. This is a huge advancement in the renewable energy space, and alongside the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, that number is expected to increase as we close out 2022 and head into the new year. 

#2 Rethinking Renewable Energy Sources

While most know that solar is good for the environment, many aren't aware that in certain circumstances, it can provide adequate return on investment. One of the biggest misconceptions in this conversation is that the most progressive energy solutions are also the most expensive, but that is not the case. Furthermore, solar can be quite accessible with a wide reach of usability, further solidifying its place as a staple renewable energy source.

Wind is also a prominent source mentioned in the renewable energy conversation. Wind turbines harness energy from the wind using mechanical power to spin a generator and create electricity without burning any fuel or polluting the air. One of the largest renewable power sources in the US, wind energy helps avoid 329 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

However, true pioneers in the space understand that in order to reach net zero, solar and wind can’t get us there alone. While solar and wind have their benefits, they also present their own respective challenges and limitations for wide scale adoption, such as seasonality and the amount of land mass needed for such infrastructure. There needs to be a solution that can easily be integrated into existing infrastructure to help rapidly decarbonize the oil and gas industry – a solution like turboexpanders.

#3 Turboexpanders are Crucial for Energy Recovery

There have been many conversations over the years about how to recover energy. One of the newer, more innovative technologies on the market are turboexpanders. For context, turboexpanders provide a way to capture the energy lost in pressure reduction and convert it into clean electricity.

Sapphire Technologies is leading this new movement with its FreeSpin® In-line Turboexpander (FIT). The FIT system extracts kinetic energy from the pressure reduction, allowing for the generation of electricity with no added pollution. This technology operates reliably, efficiently and with little maintenance. Additionally, Sapphire’s system is modular and compact, allowing for the system to be adopted in mass to help continually drive the decarbonization forward. This modular design not only allows for installation convenience, but minimizes the system’s capital cost, yielding a quick return on investment. Furthermore, the FIT provides the lowest Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) compared to alternatives as well as a low cost per kW to install. The average payback period for the FIT is two years.

As we collectively work towards reaching sustainability goals, energy recovery is key to reaching net zero. Sapphire’s innovative technology provides organizations with the opportunity to push the boundaries of cleantech within the oil and gas industry and ultimately make a significant impact in curbing climate change.